Sunday, January 10, 2010
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UPDATE -- New Year's and Christmas, rolled into one
Happy New Year to all of The Bulletin readers! I had a pretty good New Year's Eve and Day. I worked a half day on New Year's Eve. Joanna had to work a full day, so we met up after she got off work and watched the Gophers football team play their bowl game (a disappointing loss). After the game, we headed to our friends' place in Chanhassen to ring in the new decade with a pretty laid-back New Year's Eve get-together.
On New Year's Day, we made the drive to my mom's house in Millerville, where we had our delayed Christmas with my mom, step-dad John, Wyatt and Jolene (and their girls) and Ben and Ashley. We hadn't all been able to get together over Christmas, due to the weather and Jolene's work schedule, so we all got to spend some time together on New Year's Day.
For lunch, we each skewered our own kabob out of steak, chicken, shrimp, goose, mushrooms, onions, potatoes and green peppers and broiled them in the oven. The original plan had been to cook the kabobs on the grill, but the below-zero temperatures kept us inside.
After lunch, we exchanged gifts. Shortly thereafter, John hit the road for a hunting trip and Ben and Ashley took off for the Cities to spend time with her extended family, another delayed Christmas celebration caused by the previous week's storm. Those of us who stuck around spent the evening playing several new card games and board games that had been received as gifts earlier in the day.
Joanna and I drove back to the Cities on Saturday. I was feeling a little under the weather on Saturday and Sunday, and Joanna had gone to her parents' place for yet another delayed Christmas celebration, so most of my weekend was spent napping and watching movies and football games, including a Vikings win that helped ease the disappointment from the Gophers game. Not the worst way to spend such a cold weekend, I guess, but I could have done without the illness.
It was nothing too serious, though, as I was feeling well by the end of the day on Sunday and was back to work on Monday. I had been spoiled with back-to-back, three-day weeks at work, so it was tough to go back to a full five-day week! Now I have no vacations or days off planned for the foreseeable future, so I guess it's time to settle in for the long part of winter.
UPDATE -- a visit with my grandma and my great aunts
In late October, I took a short trip by train to visit my paternal grandmother, Julia Sigman, and her two sisters, Ester and Ann.
Grandma had just turned 101 and is still doing very well. She gets up and walks short distances with a walker but tires easily. She was moved out of the assisted living facility after her last hospital trip and is now in a nursing home. Ann and Ester live together in an apartment. The fourth sister, Mary, is living with her daugther in Montana.
I had five visits with Grandma over a two-day period and was able to enjoy her company. I look forward to going back in the spring.
UPDATE -- a vole's tail tale
Sometimes, when Miss Jerrianne is reading a story she thinks we will like, she reads it aloud to Mai Tai and me. Well, this week she read a gardener's charming story about a vole to us.
She sent the link to Kyra because she remembered a time when 10-year-old Kyra was hiking the Appalachian Trail and surprised a mouse in an outhouse at night. What to do? Kyra bravely shined her flashlight on the startled mouse, who was mesmerized by the light and froze, giving Kyra a good chance to look it over thoroughly. And then, because she really didn't want to do what she had come there to do in the presence of a mouse, she reached out and touched the mouse's tail. The mesmerized mouse came to its senses and scampered away.
"It was the cutest mouse!" she said.
Well, Kyra and the grandkitties liked the vole story and she wrote back:
Not so long ago, I was near the front door and noticed that the cats were staring at the tree behind me. There was a squirrel within easy reach that had them captivated. It moved a little when I turned to look and we no longer had eye contact, but the big, bushy tail was still very visible. Of course, I couldn't resist. I touched it and the squirrel disappeared in a flash. I'm not sure what the cats thought, but it seemed fitting to me. --Kyra
Beaver sent us an interesting link this week, too, with a cool video to check out:
Suzanne McCorkell visits Williamsburg, Virginia
Day to Day R
Jayce's 11th Birthday Celebration
Jayce will get his cake this coming Saturday, celebrating with his 1-year-old cousin, Kierra, at the Ostendorf lake home. He will also get some more gifts at that time. He officially turned 11 on the 5th. That evening, his mother took him for some fun with her and he got a few gifts.
But, for an earlier celebration, we took advantage of his not having school last week and got it lined up for his cousin Cole to join us on Jayce's 11th birthday celebration at Elk River Holiday Inn's water park. The boys had a blast, as did Becky, Caity and Logan (a little guy Becky was watching). Up and down the slides they went, down the lazy river, etc.
After swimming, they came back to the room and Lori, Shawn and the girls joined us, bringing Jayce birthday dollars for shopping, which was on the agenda for the next day. He loved that; he'd already brought along some to spend, so this gift made it much more fun.
After we'd dropped off Cole the next morning, we stopped by my friends Barb and Lee Oster's place. They showed us the cute 1926 Ford Model T that Lee is refurbishing. Jayce got a kick out of sitting in it and I got a picture -- good fit for him!
So, I'd say Jayce's 11th birthday has been, and will be, well celebrated!
The Matriarch Speaks W
Who Is This?
Let's Play a Guessing Game: Whenever it is handy to do so, we will run a picture of someone of the subscribers or staff members of our e-magazine. Tell us who you think it is -- we will let you know who was the first to guess it right -- and the correct guess -- in the following week's Bulletin.
How many can you identify? What's going on?
Editors' Note: Correct guesses appear in bold face type and incorrect guesses in normal type ... generally in the order we receive them, so the first guess received is on top.
Three of those youngins are my siblings, (L to R): Genelle, Wesley, and Ardis. I think the other little fella might be cousin Donnie [Anderson]. They are sitting in the front yard at Grandpa and Grandma Dake's. Not sure the name of the kitty in Ardis' lap but I am surprised it's not Genelle holding it.
What a great Guess picture! Appears to be my cousins Genelle, Wes and Ardis and my brother Donnie. Loved seeing the old car we used to play in and the porch -- fun! Don't know the kitty's name, though...
Back to savoring the rest of The Bulletin!
Donna Anderson Johnson
The picture is of Genelle, Wesley, Ardis and, I believe, your Donnie.
I believe I should know those four cute ones because the picture was taken by me with my Kodak 120 back in about 1958. Their names are Genelle, Wesley and Ardis Sigman and their cousin Donnie Anderson.
Gert Dake (Sigman) Pettit
My guess is Genelle, Wesley and Ardis (Sigman) and maybe Don Anderson.
Shari Miller Larson
Oh, just what do you think we are? Some kind of magicians to put a name on those four little GUESS children? I will have to pass, except the little girl looks like Gert's daughter Ardis Quick.
It looks like it was taken at the Dakes' home, where a lot of the pictures we have seen in The Bulletin were taken.
A series of recollections, of the five years when Bill and Lois Dake and their family lived in Minnesota, began with the episode in Bulletin 343. It's too soon to tell just how many parts there will be in this series, just after World War II. In Bulletin 349, I told more about polio (once called Infantile Paralysis) via two links, Polio and Sister Kenny, to minimize disruption of the narrative flow. Both documents are posted as a series of scanned images. We can't edit them or correct typos and they will not respond to font changes or printer settings as regular Bulletin pages do.
Winter In Bemidji
I Lose My Key
Days and dates just aren't too important, but shortly after the freezing episode, I had another experience with the winter weather. We had a snow and there were drifts of snow mixed with salt piled along our street. The snow got kind of dirty and salt mixing in made some icy water with it, too.
One morning, on my way from the Corner Drug Store where I had just finished my coffee and doughnut, I was headed across the street to the Photo North door and so was getting my key out to have it ready for a quick unlock of the door to our shop -- when everything went wrong at once. I suppose I lost my concentration on watching to protect my weakened left leg. I hardly knew how it happened, but my feet went out from under me, the key flew, I struggled to get up, a horn honked, and a lady helped me back to my feet and across the street. Then, of course, all of the cars ran through the green light -- probably upset with that clumsy woman who had fallen right in their way.
By the time they had all run over the area where that key disappeared, it was hardly worth going back to look for it in the ensuing sloppy mess. But my friendly, rescuing angel went back out with me and we looked for it until the lights changed colors. No luck, so I thanked the sweet lady and then walked the half block to the shop.
Now, of course, I couldn't get in. I was not going to have everyone ooohing and aaahing over me, so I just looked in the window of the connecting Sport Shop. My luck was with me. I could see that Ed was stocking shelves and he had started for the back. So I just slipped in and went next door to our store, turned on the light and went to hang up my coat and survey the damage.
It was not a pretty sight ... I had a hole in my nylon and a skinned area about the size of a quarter was dripping blood onto my skirt! I was petrified and almost could not look to see the further damage. I was wearing Mrs. Foley's lovely boots ... only they did not look so very lovely just now. I slid them off and stood in my felt liners. I took the boots up and looked them over carefully. With a sigh of relief, I found that, though they had gotten wet with salty water, they had not gotten one bit of blood on them! Clean-up would have to wait until that evening. So next was to get my shoes on and take care of the abrasion.
We have a first aid kit, and what is more, I do know how to use the things in it. I took a First Aid course when I was attending Litchfield Teachers' Training and, just as an aside here -- when I first started working here I saw the kit sitting on a shelf and took it down. I asked Ken if I should refill it. I am glad he told me to do that, for now it was ready to use.
Just as I was finishing up, I heard the door of our shop open. So someone with a key was letting himself in. I breathed another sigh of relief when I saw it was Ken.
By that time, there was no evidence of any of the problems I had just encountered, so Ken wondered out loud why I was here but the door was not unlocked. Well the explanation I gave you is pretty much what I gave Ken, too (except I didn't think I needed to mention the boot cleaning that would have to be done, as I was quite sure I could take care of that all right).
He wondered if I should have the doctor look at the damage to my knee but I assured him there was no need ... and I confessed to him that I was scared to tell Harold about my careless loss of the key, as I kind of supposed I wouldn't be allowed to open the door anymore.
Ken snorted at that statement. "Harold will grunt a little and probably complain a tad ... but he isn't about to take back the door opening, and neither am I. So don't worry one minute. Harold is a "teddy bear" -- he has never done anything mean to anybody -- so let's get on with our chores and you can face the bear when he comes." So he headed back to get his day started and I started my clean-up chores.
That episode pretty much ended as a plus. Harold did grunt at me a bit. Then he went on down to have his coffee with his buddies. It took him a long time, but when he came back he was all sunny and told me the locksmith would be coming to install a new lock.
Later, I heard him next door, telling Phil he was having the old lock replaced, as he had finally been able to find a neat replacement -- since the war had ended and metal items were slowly coming in. He suggested that Phil should have one put in, too. And that is what was done. Not one word was ever said to anyone about lost keys, and I did not have to listen to any ooohs or aaahs about my poor knee, either!
When Harold gave me my new key, it was attached to a huge key ring he had found. He grinned at me and told me that he thought that should be easy enough to find -- so I could leave it zipped in my purse until I arrived at the door, and I wouldn't have to search in the cold. And that was the last I heard of that episode.
Southeast Asia Extravaganza 2009
We passed the afternoon trekking through picturesque flooded rice paddies, visiting Karen and Hmong and stopping at a pleasant waterfall en route. At the Hmong village, a man demonstrated the use of the cross bow, traditionally used for hunting. They had set up a target with a mango at the center and charged a few cents for us to try.
Jeff challenged me. I warned him that it might not be good for his self esteem to do so, and was right. :) Turns out I'm a good shot, and he owed me a drink!
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Birthdays
More January Birthdays
January Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Dear Miss Hetty,
This week marked a special birthday: Dad (Harry) turned 70! Since Dad had a hankering for ribs, the six of us (Dad, Mom, Lisa, Steven, Keith, and I) went to Lucille's BBQ on Sunday to celebrate. There was a bit of a wait, but it was worth it -- the ribs, burgers, and salads we ordered and shared tasted great. And the waitress even surprised Dad with a sundae for dessert.
Just wanted to drop a line to say thanks for the e-card reminding us on such a cold day that, yes, summer will be here before we know it! We have Internet back at home so Doug was even able to enjoy the e-card and The Bulletin, which was nice. He is truly amazed at everyone's work and how nice it is of you to remember everyone. You are all truly wonderful people!
Bridget and Doug Larson
Thank you for the birthday card; it was a very nice surprise. Below I have attached a link to a snowkiting video I made from a session I had on Lake Henry in Alexandria yesterday. Perhaps you will find it interesting. It has a large file size so you may have to click play to start it, then pause it until it loads completely.
Keep Us Posted!
Please drop Miss Hetty a line and tell us who, and what, we've missed. And how about a report (photos welcome) of YOUR special celebration?
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITORS?
Thank you for the awesome Bulletin! Lots of good reading and some laughs. (Elephant snot! Beaver even mentioned that one to me. :-)
And that is why, when we visited Thailand a few years ago and Ken and Kyra rode elephants, I elected to stay out of range and photograph them having the fun. --Photo Ed.
It is far too cold right now, -30 degrees (F.) yesterday morning (not wind chill, either)! I feel so bad for all the cattle, the horse and the donkey ... although Beaver said the last two go into the woods. Even with tough hides, these temperatures have got to be daunting! Our "outside" dogs have become more inside dogs at this point ... even Lexie, the shy one, although she mainly stays in the tunnel, instead of coming upstairs as Buster and Tula do.
They have all learned, including Midnight, that they are not allowed in the kitchen while I cook or anyone is eating. I can't even let Buster (the black Lab) be in the doorways, as he drools in anticipation!
Wishing you a very Happy New Year!
Donna Anderson Johnson
I feel compelled to write to The Bulletin as it has been a while since I wrote. I wish all The Bulletin readers a Happy New Year and a healthy one.
Time has gone by so quickly, and as we get older, past experiences flash through my mind. On this day, on January 2, 1946, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy at Fargo, North Dakota, a cold day almost like we have here as I write this. A week later, I was in sunny California.
I don't mind cold weather and the snow adds "frosting to the cake." The years we lived in "the South" (Missouri) were great but I missed the northern winters. It seems to bring out my youth in me.
We had a very fine holiday season. We are grateful to our children, grands and greats who made our holiday a pleasure.
We were presented with a gift that will take us throughout the year. A selection of gift cards from about every eating place in Alexandria! (I have instructed the County to remove us from the welfare program for one whole year, or until further notice. HA)
Now, I don't like bragging, but I know we are blessed with a very loving and caring family. I wonder what they will come up with next.
I, too, enjoy The Bulletin. It has become a way of bringing our families together. To be honest, I got to know more of my family's background and enjoyed reading of folks I only met a few times.
I would like to read of stories from former writers who have not submitted for some time. (Larry Dake, are you listening?) We miss your stories very much. You have ways of writing very interesting items we all enjoy.
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
Have you ever had opportunity and time and yet not been in the right mood to write? That's just the way I feel right now. I want to write my thoughts as I review The Bulletin, but wish I were more motivated.
We have had a big day, and the end of it is very near, but I will at least start this. I enjoy and appreciate The Bulletin so much, and it is fun and a privilege that you allow me to send comments, so I do not want to disappoint you. I realize you work all week assembling and arranging and tweaking until it looks just right. So, surely, the least we can do is reply with our thanks.
I thought that first picture was quite original to use for the Happy New Year greeting. Hear Ye, Hear Ye! It looks just like that big, white wingspread is doing its best to get our attention. We are already well aware of the year 2009 being ended, and the beginning of 2010 is almost frightening. Remember when we were seeing 2000 arrive? That was only yesterday, wasn't it?
Oh, that was so great to have caught the photo of the avalanche at just the right time, Patty, before it actually fell off in a loud thump and puff of snow cloud. Thanks for sending in that nice update, and please know we love reading about you two, plus that delicious egg bake. I should include the dog, too, as she is a beloved member of your family.
Whitney Johnson writing was something new and different, too. You must have had a wonderful time with the whole family there, and Mark has shot past his dad, by the looks of it. Doesn't take much time for major changes to take place in what used to be a family with little kids. Rich and Marlene stay looking pretty much the same, happy and enjoying every moment of "family time."
Gert, we know what that weather has done to a lot of plans, and even to keeping the kids far away. I was pretty happy to see that Beau will be scheduled to return from Iraq in February. That will be a happy occasion, and hope we hear all about it, with pictures.
That was a very easy and exciting way to announce Madi's baby brother ... the pictures of Kurt and Jeni with Madi. It sounds like the event will occur anytime, and we can't wait for names and pictures.
And the update about Grady growing up so fast was astounding. He is one big boy, but then look at the dad. He looks like his dad, too, at least on pictures. A new baby's first Christmas and New Year's will have to be recorded for him. I am pretending that is mistletoe over Jessy and Chris's head. (I know it isn't.)
I have been trying my best to figure out who the Santa is that Grady is having a nap with. I keep trying to make Beaver out of him, but I am sure it isn't. Grady feels pretty much at home with him, so better tell us in the next Bulletin, please.
I am not sure I would have a returning smile at 2:30 a.m., but I don't think you could help but smile at that cute expression.
Then Miss Kitty came through again, with a wonderful story about 2009 going out in style. Thanks for explaining the "blue moon" to us, Miss Kitty. We didn't know all those details. We missed the eclipse and all here.
And, Miss Kitty, we didn't realize Alaska was having a 50th anniversary, nor Hawaii beginning one.
Do you realize how thankful you should be that Miss Jerrianne was so thoughtful as to stay home from that great celebration so you two wouldn't panic when the fireworks began? That could have been a disaster, if you raced through the house in a frightened tizzy.
The Update of the trip to Arizona, part two, by Bitzi was very special. The artistic placement of the palm tree in the foreground, and the mountains in the background, made a most intriguing picture. Only a graphic artist could have taken a shot like that.
Then the Guess picture from last week of that tourist shopping in the gift shop -- did you buy us all a souvenir? The details of the cactus impressed us, too, Bitzi. Thank you for sharing that bit of science. All the pictures were very welcome to us.
Are you sorry your trip didn't last awhile longer? For instance like over these sub-zero days in Minnesota?
Oh my -- look at that perfectly smooth, not a hair out of place, hairdo that Grandma Dorothy has? That must have been an unusual card with all those family pictures and gift certificates, which would be such a welcome family treasure, and the fun of using all the certificates will have to be postponed until the snow melts, I'm sure.
What a prize picture of Caity and McKenna! I just looked at that for a long time. Sweet little sleepyheads, still smiling.
Memory Lane. I always look forward to that one, and please don't run out of story, Dorothy. It is so nostalgic to follow along in your life back in those years, and in your young working days.
I remember being in the Holman home for a meal or two, and it was so nice to read about your going there, Dorothy.
I like Max. Do you ever wonder where he might be now? No doubt he has died, as that was so long ago, but maybe not. No fun trying to get there by bus in that Berrrrmiji weather.
I actually felt bad for you, having gotten so cold that you could hardly get warmed up, even with the hot water bottles.
Then there was that most beautiful picture of the Amaryllis blossom. Our son and wife gave us one, which we are hoping to watch grow and bloom, in time.
Thank you for the New Year's greetings, Frans. We were so sorry to hear of Rian's fall. That might take awhile to recover from the pain. Then Marloes. I guess it all comes at once there, in the Netherlands. Hope you can say all are improving.
You can be glad you aren't here. If you were, you would need a snow shovel just to get from the car to the house.
Leave it to Kjirsten to give us an unusual Travelogue. This time, riding an elephant through a rainforest. It might be common to them, but not to us, so that was quite a sight. How could they ever think that was such a grand sport, to be doused with trunkfuls of water?
Glad for the answers to the Crossword Puzzle, Doug. I did not get very many. I like the Word Search, too, sometimes.
What a Quotation for the day we had this time! Rather searching, to think of all the blank pages in a book that we will write on ourselves ... both bad and good ... and it has already turned three pages. Time goes just that fast.
Thank you for all you did to make this a huge Bulletin this time, and for each one who contributes to its pages, which keep us spellbound from the first picture to the Quotation for the day.
To search a name in Who's Who or Who's Where: click on the link to open the page, then use CONTROL F on a PC or COMMAND F on a Mac. To search for a second occurrence of the name, use CONTROL G on a PC or COMMAND G on a Mac. (This works on ANY web page with text, unless the text is converted to an image. Chances are, it works in your e-mail, too.) HINT: Search by first name only, as most entries list the family name once but do not repeat the last name for each family member. In Who's Where you can search on state or city names, too.
Quotation for the day: Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt. --William Shakespeare
EDITOR'S POLICY: If you wish to subscribe to The Bulletin, simply send me a statement of that fact. If you wish to keep receiving it I hope you will contribute to one of the columns that are running in this family epistle (at least occasionally!). My e-mail address is email@example.com
This Bulletin is copyright Dorothy M. Anderson; the contents are also copyrighted by the authors and photographers and used with their permission, and the contents are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the explicit consent of the creators.